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Organized Play Member. 148 posts. No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 1 Organized Play character.


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Name: Wilhelm
Race: Human
Classes/levels: Barbarian 3
Adventure: Shards of Sin
Location: Area D15: the Sihedron Shrine
Catalyst: Two pissed-off, time-frozen Shriezyx. (And a Player's impending departure from the group.)
The Other Players: Yama (Male Tengu Rogue), Garim (Dwarven Fighter), Chun Wein (Halfling Ninja), and Alfonse (Half-Elf Mage)
The Gory Details:

Having worked their way through the dungeon with only a few "nail-biter" encounters, the group had a few close one's in the battle with Khryzm and her crew before putting them down.

They stopped to heal-up using a wand before descending to the Shrine. When they opened the door to the shrine, the Shriezyx attacked but got low Init. The barbarian and fighter charged one while the other three went after the other.

As the Barbarian delivered a killing blow, the beast struck out and put Wilhelm at -7 HP. Since his player will be moving out of state before the next game, he figured it would be a good epic death for the PC, and left it at that.

Actually a great way to end part one.

Take a look at the Sunder rules...

Or modified Star Wars (WoTC D20) Starship Combat rules... They were written around the time 3.5 came about, and even the ship stats where based on the D20 rules. (Oh, man, so many memories coming back of my "homebrew" Barrier Peaks style campaign - D&D with LASERs...)

Might be worth finding a copy.


Also, have you considered replacing underwater dungeons with "cloud" dungeons? Say that these dungeons take place in a permanent heavy stormbank, allows you to create chambers of water or Heavy Fog effects, etc...

My personal rule of thumb: if I can't find the answer to that or similar situational circumstances, then they've left that up to the GM's discretion, on purpose or not.

I don't have my copy handy, so I can't quote RAW right now, but I do believe there is a mention about the liquid volatility either in the overall dungeon description or the room specifically. At least in my copy of the Anniversary Edition.

There are also several hilarious/frightening uses for the liquid posted thru out the Boards here. I'd try the sticky for book 1 first.

After our second session this past Sunday, The PCs managed to capture Terisha as well. Returning with her to the Manor after clearing out the first 9 areas of the Crow; they had Natalya as their intermediary make a deal with Terisha -

Defeat the lycanthrope members of the Tower Girls (while being merciful to the non-Wererats), Leave Terisha in charge, and Natalya can walk away from the gang without repercussion. (Leaving one as an NPC intermediary for another, as well as the other Sczarni gangs in Magnimar.)

Also, there are constructs everywhere it seems in this AP.

DocWatson wrote:

I have a player that is going to be a Bladebound Magus, and I was looking for some advice.

I was going to have the PC find the blade in the dungeon as the PCs approach level 3. Any recommendations as to what the blade's purpose should be?

I'm not quite sure what the ultimate aims or antagonists of the AP will be (haven't read that far).

Maybe the elimination of all Thassilonian spellcasters?
Maybe to ensure the Star is reforged? Maybe to prevent the Star from being reforged?

Any advice would be appreciated.

Not that familiar with those rules; but how about the purpose of defeating/hindering Runelords? If it's to be found in the ruins below The Crow, it stands to reason it could be from a defeated enemy of a Runelord, kept as a trophy and forgotten after Thassilon's fall... Or something similar.

Bonus points if she steals it from the party wizard somehow. The panic it can cause the character just missing it for a day can be hilarious. (For the GM, not the player. :P)

Also, I don't remember where I saw it, but awhile back I saw someone also had an idea for a "disposable" spell book - one large stapled bundle of scrolls basically. Every time a page of spells is used, the page crumbles away...

Third enemy = Sahuagin. Perfect level range for this adventure, great to motivate the two tribes against. There are some great encounters in Skull & Shackles, Raiders of the Fever Sea.

Also, Lyrie could also just steal another Spellbook. She seems like the type to do that.

1) Nuallia below would hear it. Gogmurt across the bridge might or might not.

2) maybe a template is in order - how about a cadre of goblin ghosts down the line? Maybe one for each offending PC, that acts more like a personalized haunt and torments more than harms.

3) Lyrie doesn't need a spell book to utilize Scrolls, Wands, Staves, or Rods... That being said, I'd say it would take her about a week in a decently stocked arcane library to create a new book. And yes, if it where my campaign, Magnimar is where she'd have to go. (But that would make for a great ambush in book 2.)

100% peace sounds pretty impossible to me, personally. How about 85-95%?

Maybe the party can get the groups to have their "peace summit" overseen by the half-orc witch (currently blanking her name), whom it's written that both parties at least respect, if not fear.

Of course, this means the party must convince her to oversee the summit as well.

Maybe for a bit of tension, dissidents from both factions (working separate or together) can try to disrupt the event.

I haven't experienced that particular module spliced into pathfinder, but if my experience with The Forge of Fury taught me anything it's this: Read through the module and see what monsters/traps/puzzles also exist already and trade their older version out for the newer ones.

Unique Encounters can still play out how they're written this way without too much Creep.

Myself, I'm considering trading out for Seven Swords of Sin, but haven't read the whole module of Asylum Stone, and rather like the idea of the Horseman.

Some of us don't have that option, having a hard enough time finding players in the first place...

Terisha in mine may become the new leader of the Tower Girls (possibly an ally if the PCs play it right), while Natalya will become a street informer/occasional PC.

Lex Starwalker wrote:
The only problem with that, Ronin, is then the WBL gets out of whack. I may just be substituting one problem for another one.

Not if you use Sunder. {Evil DM Grin} But seriously, IMO, not as much as you'd think. PCs with money tend to be like real people that suddenly get a windfall - really bad at keeping ahold of it. Remember what P.T. Barnum said, "(Insert something clever about fools and money.)"

Or instead of awarding them XP, simply give out extra treasure (being sure to tell your players you're doing this first) - especially gold and magic items that might help them in their main quest.

This way they get things they can use that give them an extra edge in the short term, but don't out-level the AP proper.

This is a technique I use when half my group no-shows on me and I have to run quick side-quests for only a couple people. It rewards those that participate with extra loot, but doesn't end with them out-pacing everyone around them. (I have one player that makes games 95% of the time, while others tend to be 60/40. As a result, his character pretty much always has the best gear.)

Granted, this is a different situation, but it seems to be applicable.

Someone with trap-finding/disabling is pretty essential from the parts I've run so far. But that's nothing a one level dip can't fix. Part and parcel with the many dungeons there are, I guess.

I like the street informant angle, I may go with this.

Anyone else out there have Natalya survive? Any ideas of what to do with her? Stories or recommendations?

My players where hard and quick, knocked her out, and took her and her shard to Sheila, who identified the item. Basically we ended the session after part one, and I'm kicking around ideas for Natalya.

I was actually thinking of making her a triple-agent who also works for (Magnimar Guard?Korvosa? Some other party?).

This is more of an effort to keep her from eventually disappearing like a Bond Girl between films.

_Cobalt_ wrote:

Read Lovecraft. Seriously. For the fourth and fifth books, it's basically "Lovecraft - The Adventure." I'd recommend Nyarlathotep, At the Mountains of Madness, Pickman's Model, and Call of Cthulhu. They are all short stories (except AtMoM, which is a short novel), and if you just sit down to read them, you should be able to read them all in a night.

This last part should be easy, as you will be unable to sleep due to sheer cosmic horror.(That may or may not be just in you head...)

But seriously, do this.

I agree with both previous statements, as well as to add one more piece of advice.

Make your own graph paper maps of the dungeons, if you don't already, and do it in sections. There's been a lot of multi-floor, up,down, and around so far from what I've seen. Making my own graph paper maps has been, so far, made it much easier to keep track of both PC and Encounters - especially if players get separated because of traps or other circumstances. (Like GM evilness...)

Also, there are several companions the players may or may not "recruit." Be sure to familiarize yourself with them and their many facets. Maybe even replace them if you feel the need. (I wouldn't, they've all been so full of possibilities so far!)

It's not my game that this is happening, it was more of a question that came to me as I've seen so many posts about 'The False Sepulcher.'

Think of my question in more theatrical terms - the scene in Indiana Jones where the stone rolls after him, threatening to flatten him. We're all pretty familiar with this relatively simple trap. So much so, that even if we're aware of the meta-game thought process we may use, we'd all see it coming at the table.

So how do you make a shared experience unique and unexpected? Especially once stories make the rounds.

I'm saying, if I as a GM decide to change what is written in this to change the situation to were something like this, or the gods know what else, might be possible. I.e., I'll change the situation to fit my story over the rules.

A lot of GMs do this, and may well have to resort to "variations" to keep it spicy in groups once word of this trap spreads across tables. ("I want to set it off!" "No! Me!")

Let's say that I decide Sorshen has other clones stashed away in the above scenario. Where would be a good place to put them and what might happen with all the other Shorshen related encounters down the road? Or what if one or two players in the above scenario make saves and "survive" the trap?

The whole point of this post is using That Trap in new and creative ways, not a question of the rules.

Also, as I think about all this, what are the different effects It's had on not only PCs, but also the Players? How would adjusting/skinning/hacking this trap have as well?

So this thread is to explore the possibilities of customization and postulation regarding "that trap."

For instance; what if the trap kills all the players and everyone awakens in a Sorshen clone of their own? Aside from setting everyone back 2 levels and the stats, what could happen when multiple Sorshens are wandering around?

Seriously, it makes me want to run her husband as an over-enthusiastic and zealous adventurer hero, with The Monarch's penchant for crazy speeches and reasoning...

Extra points if one of the PCs plays a stoic, womanizing, chain smoking ass kicker or skinny, bald, neurotic, not-as-good-as-other-"scientists..."

So I like this AP a lot and plan to run this one soon.

However while reading Sheila's descriptions in her write up an intro to the PCs, for some reason the comments about her low, husky voice stuck out in my head.

I realize this is supposed to come off as a voice like Ertha Kitt or Kathleen Turner; but does anyone else giggle and imagine Dr. Girlfriend / Dr. Mrs. The Monarch? I'm absolutely positive my players will...

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Also, I might base her overall attitude on how many of the Maidens the PCs manage to save. If Ori is the only one saved, she's a drunk w/PTSD, basically living to die because of survivors guilt.

But if the players save others from her command, she is able to forgive herself and return to the path of heroism fully; maybe even becoming a love interest.

I plan on running her similar to the personality Jack from Mass Effect II - a strong warrior hiding a broken child inside. After the battle w/ashimintalu, some of her demons are exorcised, and she'll begin to open up more if the PCs keep her as an ally.

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It's worth noting that players who aren't happy about the clone's gender could simply search out the " cursed " item Girdle of opposite gender... (Or whatever the kids call it these days...)

Bah, simply take the East of Faith trait and be a monk who's "decided to walk the world a spell."

Before a friend of mine have to leave our run of the AP after book one, he ran a monk named Xian Wu who was played kind of like Shepard Book from Firefly. That character was the first first mate of the campaign.

Alagard, don't think I was being too sarcastic. I actually have a best friend who is a pretty good musician and self recorder who comes around to borrow my kids for an hour or so to record onto his laptop what he wants to modify later. (Usually before we game that evening.)

I usually have to explain beforehand to the younger ones that this is the ONLY time it's Okay to use language I wouldn't normally allow, and he's pretty good about not crossing that line without my wife and I knowing first. He usually pays them with cash, ("So they can tell people they're paid musicians.")

Having just finished playing Skull & Shackles, I can safely say that AP is easily turned into a sandbox campaign, as so much of it clan be played almost any order.

Keep the new characters on shore. Their Heir Marks 'resurrect' the PC's long enough to complete the task of returning the Seal to the awaiting party at the top of the well. However, they cannot pass beyond the well, and fall back to their state of death. (Peacefully... For now.)

Now Ameiko & Crew can pass back through, recruit new Allies, and come back to fight whatever horrendousness you have planned.

This should fit fairly well based on my (albeit not extensive) knowledge of Asian-style haunts and spirits. And the worst/best part (depending on your GM style), you could describe their bodies' coming fate you have planned as it's happening to them!

Lawful doesn't always mean someone is hellbent on bring order to everything.

Consider the ancient Samurai quandary; "Which is better to serve - the Just Lord or the Evil Lord?"

It's the Evil one. Because of their warrior code, Bushido, serving the Evil one is the harder trial of the Samurai. Basically because Samurai be Samurai and such.

Lawful neutral in this campaign shouldn't be too much of a bother.

Krisam wrote:

Thanks for your suggestions, guys.

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

I just know that my group sounds just like yours, and it worked for me. YMMV.

This is a popular topic you can find many answers to in the Advice forum.

However, this is the quick and dirty way: using a PDF viewer, select a 7"x10" area and Print to Fit your average paper stock. Repeat this process, overlapping slightly for when you tape/glue/adhere the sheets together.

Or take the PDF to a printer and tell them the dimensions you want the map to be, and have them print one large map-like sheet. This may be costly, and take some explanation as to what things like RPGs and such are, unless you're lucky enough to come across one who games.


Once the PCs have their own ship, how the run it is up to them. Also, Privateering is pretty much what they're doing once the get their Letter of Marque from the pirate council and begin working for Tessa Fairwind in book 3.

Despite what I've seen to the contrary, there is absolutely nothing stopping a bunch of "good" characters from playing this AP. the fact that they may have a harder time bringing their changes to the shackles could make for a truly epic finale.

Krisam wrote:
Player woes

A couple of your statements remind me of several of my players.

It sounds more to me that several need the startling awakening that their own lack of willingness to immerse themselves in the game means that their PCs are going to fall behind in the Experience (and XP), and possibly die because of it.

You've given them more than enough opportunities to help themselves - it's time to stop pulling punchess. Remind them of the ways you've given them to excelled and then explain the gloves are coming off. Because frankly, if they just want to hack'n'slash, they need to just invest in some video games and stop wasting your time as a GM. Politely, if possible. Then start racking up kills as "legally" as possible. The fact that their own unpreparedness is hindering them shouldn't make it difficult.

Then begin rewarding the good role-players at the table with extra gold, items, and in really awesome moments XP. Maybe even those are the only PCs that can be brought back from the dead. Once everyone "gets it," phase it all out.

This has worked several times for my group as they've gotten lax and tightened again over the years.

Original poster, this is something I have considered myself, specifically re-writing the Skull & Shackles AP to be like this.

Bravo, keep us posted.

I seem to remember a gigantic mega-dungeon book/brick for 3.5 that was around $90...

My party going through book 1 was usually 5-8, and one time hit ten. While I didn't have to change the crew of the Wormwood, I did run more events like the the one in the bilge and crabbing for the captain - using different PCs as participants. I simply re-flavored them to different areas and critters. I think they even chased rats a few times.

I didn't have to do too much to the other books when my group stabilized at 3-5 and I made them run a few levels behind for a while to make up for Powder weapons.

GermanyDM wrote:
Thanks RoninUsagi. We need a 'Like' button.

You must be a parent gamer too.

Considering I put the caravan rules aside to try to clean my brain-bits off the wall, these look a lot simpler and concise.

And loaning out workers seems like a great way for random encounters with the caravan in settlements to include Angry Husbands whose wives have run off with workers. Or the local unions protesting, "They're taking our jobs!"

Matthew Downie wrote:

If my players had wanted to go by boat, I would have let them. The voyage would have been completely uneventful.

Then I'd jump straight to book 5 without leveling them up.


This is Winning; you must be an Evil GM. Respect.

Something I've been toying with for when I eventually run this AP is this:

Because of my own desire to adventure in the rest of Tian Xia, Simply allowing travel to that side of the world via a portal somewhere after/below Ravenscrag (sp?). However, something goes wrong and they spend the level range of Hungry Storm traveling the other direction across Tian Xia to where book 4 starts. I call this plan "Reverse Path of Agenhai." It is for this contingency - the players discussing travel by Sea - that I've come up with this plan.

Also, try here for someone who did the goblin song already. As well as a ton of other cool stuff people have done.

Depending on what you're using to do it, it can be easy.

Step one: Round up some children. You could ask friend w/kids, or just get a big van with "Free Candy" painted on the side and you should have no problem.

Step two: Using some sort of recording device, record the children running and playing in a park or yard, or for better acoustics, a single stalled public restroom or busy restaurant is perfect. Bonus points if the recording picks up statements like "What the Hell?"" or "AAAAGGGHHHH!!!" from innocent bystanders.

Step three: Using a program like Garage Band (Standard on most Macs), Pro Tools (if you're also REALLY into media production), or any other of any number of internet programs out there; use the effects on the vocal track to get what you feel to be a "gobliny" sound before adding it to the master track.

Step four: Ditch the children somewhere, lose the van, and eat the candy.

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